E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research (EJAIAER)

 

    VOL.20                            Nos:  3 & 4                 September & December, 2008

 

 EDUCATIONAL  RESEARCH  IN  KERALA

Amruth G. Kumar

Devika R

INTRODUCTION

Kerala has an affluent culture of educational research. The mother department of educational research in Kerala is Department of education of Kerala University. This department was born in 1969, at a time there was only two universities in Kerala state. The Department of Education of Kerala University was started with the launch of Ph.D. programme. It became one of the earliest University Departments in India to do so. The department has been recognized by the UGC for its high standards of teaching and research and has been identified for the DSA scheme (1986), as national Centre for Curriculum Development in Education (1986) and for instituting ASARCO fellowship (1988).

 

RESEARCH FACILITIES

Department of Education, University of Kerala

The department has a library with 20,000 volumes with 1,300 theses. It has a Test Material Center which is being built up and when completed may be the only one in South India. The department provides extension and consultancy services mainly in curriculum development and evaluations within the state and outside. It has a very strong Ph.D. programme and a video laboratory. It has conducted over 25 state and national seminars and completed six research projects. The Department has been instrumental for 150 Ph. D. and 85 M. Phil. degrees and 1,300 papers. Major areas of research include Curriculum Development, Educational Technology and Learning and Achievement Correlated

 

Department of Education, University of Calicut

Set up in 1974 to prepare graduate and post graduates to become competent teachers at different levels, the Department of education in University of Calicut has launched several pioneering courses, made valuable contribution in bringing about reforms in university examination and developed several psychological and educational tests. The two pioneering courses offered in the early years were: Master of College Teaching and Master of Education (a vacation course). The Department played a critical role in the implementation of the examination reforms programme by designing and developing questions banks for pre degree and degree courses of the University. Besides attracting special grants of the UGC, the examination reforms programme of the University served as a model for several other Universities .
Its library has over 7,000 books in the thrust areas of education. Back volumes of major research journals are also available. Thrust areas of the department include:

Group I: Educational technology, educational administration and supervision, educational planning and finance, advanced educational sociology, theory and principles of curriculum construction, teacher education, special education

Group II: Techniques of evaluation and test construction, Guidance and counselling, History of education, Comparative education, Western and eastern philosophies of education, Development and problems of Indian education, Economics of education.

Group III: Mathematics education, Physical science education, Social studies education, Language education, Commerce education. 

 

School of Pedagogical Sciences, MG University      

The School of Pedagogical sciences under the Mahatma Gandhi University started functioning in 1992 with a view to facilitate systematic learning from teaching contexts and professional development. The teaching faculty at the school consists of 7 teachers- 6 of them having Ph. D. Degrees. There are 43 students for the M. Ed. degree courses. More than 80 students have registered for Ph. D. degree and 33 completed Ph. D. so far. There are 6 seats for M. Phil (Education) course.

 

School of Pedagogical Sciences, Kannur University

Kannur University was established in 1996. The university offers Ph. D. in Education through its teaching and research department ‘School of Pedagogical sciences’. Being a novice department it has only two research guides for supervising its research students. No Ph. D.  has yet been produced by the school.

 

A TREND ANALYSIS

Review of Ph. D. theses awarded by different universities in kerala shows that educational psychology was the thrust area of researchers for a long time. Detailed and in-depth studies conducted in the area of Psychology in education also support this trend. A number of research studies have been conducted in the area of non formal education. Teacher education at secondary level and  Education at primary and secondary level also received due attention from researchers. Recently a number of studies have been carried out to test the effectiveness of models of teaching and other teaching strategies. Preparation of modules for incorporating at secondary level school curriculum, Psycho social problems and learning difficulties of students are hot area of research in Kerala. Though vast area of topics has been covered, there are some neglected areas also. Very limited researches have been conducted to study the problems and prospects of Higher education, teacher education at primary level (TTC) and at Post graduate level (M. Ed). Another neglected area is measurement and evaluation. Very limited studies have been conducted to introduce innovations and to improve the assessment practices implemented in the state, by schools and other higher education institutions. Educational philosophy of great thinkers and religious texts like Githa, Bible, Koran etc., also seems to be unexplored. Educational administration and potentials of web based learning also need immediate attention. Other neglected areas include Population education, environmental education, Inclusive education, Human rights education, Economics of education, Value oriented education History of education and Educational informatics.

 

SOME CONSTRAINTS

As globalisation and liberalisation has its influence in all spheres of life, education is not an exemption. Earlier M. Ed. courses in the state were monopoly of the University Departments. In 1995 Government of Kerala sanctioned M.Ed. course to NSS Training Collge, Ottapalam and Farooq Training college, Farooq, in aided stream. Following this a number of self financing teacher education institutions also obtained sanction to run M. Ed. course. This has resulted in the production of a large number of post graduate students every year. Unfortunately the research facility in education has not grown in par with this. Even now, there is no research center in the state other than university departments. Al together there are only 45 approved research guides in the state in all the four universities. This resulted in a flow of research students to universities in the neighboring states. A few major factors which stand as a hurdle in the path of educational researchers  are:

*This could be overcome by finding potential institutions which can offer Ph. D. and M. Phil. courses. A number of institutions like SCERT, State Resource Centre, and Government and Aided colleges have the potential to perform as research centers.

 

*It may take six months to one year for getting registered as a research student in the universities invariably. Often a new area of research may get out dated as a student is formally registered. This is not an argument to bypass procedural formalities, but an indication that research suffers due to it.

 

*It is not easy for a research student from Calicut University to refer the department library of Kerala university and vice versa. The reason is fair, the students may copy theses from one university to other. But, the universities cannot ignore the fact that the global society is opening up avenues of education while they are closing. It should be noted that PhD theses of foreign universities are available in the internet.

 

*Funded researches in the field of education in Kerala can be counted in fingers. The researchers are either unaware or failed to fetch funds from agencies other than UGC. State government and its agencies are providing very limited support in funding researches in education.

 

*Educational research centers in Kerala rarely entertain researches having inter-disciplinary nature. Most of them confine research to their own discipline.

 

CONCLUSION

A review of the educational research and its facilities in kerala may prove that access is the major problem to be tackled. In addition to access financial, Quality, Social usefulness etc., also must be addressed. A Coordinated movement from the part of all the universities would be useful in this regard. Researches useful to the state and country should be planned out and implemented.

 

REFERENCES

www.keralauniversity.edu

www.universityofcalicut.info

www.mguniversity.edu

www.kannuruniversity.ac.in